Indian Evidence Act , 1872

DAY 07

DATE 04-02-2021

INDIAN EVIDENCE ACT , 1872

Opinion as to handwriting, when relevant (SECTION 47)

When the Court has to form an opinion as to the person by whom any document was written or signed, the opinion of any person acquainted with the handwriting of the person by whom it is supposed to be written or signed that it was or was not written or signed by that person, is a relevant fact. 

Explanation—

A person is said to be acquainted with the handwriting of another person when he has seen that person write, or when he has received documents purporting to be written by that person in answer to documents written by himself or under his authority and addressed to that person, or when, in the ordinary course of business, documents purporting to be written by that person have been habitually submitted to him. 

Illustration-

 The question is, whether a given letter is in the underwriting of A, a merchant in London. B is a merchant in Calcutta, who has written letters addressed to A and received letters purporting to be written by him. C is B’s clerk, whose duty it was to examine and file B’s correspondence. D is B’s broker, to whom B habitually submitted the letters purporting to be written by A for the purpose of advising him thereon. The opinions of B, C and D on the question whether the letter is in the handwriting of A are relevant, though neither B, C nor D ever saw A write.

38 [ 47A Opinion as to 38 [electronic signature] when relevant —

When the Court has to form an opinion as to the  [electronic signature] of any person, the opinion of the Certifying Authority which has issued the  [Electronic Signature Certificate] is a relevant fact.]

 Opinion as to existence of right or custom, when relevant (SECTION 48) 

When the Court has to form an opinion as to the existence of any general custom or right, the opinions, as to the existence of such custom or right, of persons who would be likely to know of its existence if it existed, are relevant.

 Explanation—

The expression “general custom or right” includes customs or rights common to any considerable class of persons. Illustration The right of the villagers of a particular village to use the water of a particular well is a general right within the meaning of this section.

Opinions as to usages, tenets, etc., when relevant (SECTION 49)

When the Court has to form an opinion as to— the usages and tenets of any body of men or family, the constitution and government of any religious or charitable foundation, or the meaning of words or terms used in particular districts or by particular classes of people, the opinions of persons having special means of knowledge thereon, are relevant facts.

 Opinion on relationship, when relevant (SECTION 50) 

When the Court has to form an opinion as to the relationship of one person to another, the opinion, expressed by conduct, as to the existence of such relationship, or any person who, as a member of the family or otherwise, has special means of knowledge on the subject, is a relevant fact: Provided that such opinion shall not be sufficient to prove a marriage in proceedings under the Indian Divorce Act, 1869 (4 of 1869) or in prosecutions under section 494, 495, 497 or 498 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860). 

Illustrations-

(a) The question is, whether A and B were married. The fact that they were usually received and treated by their friends as husband and wife, is relevant.

(b) The question is, whether A was the legitimate son of B. The fact that A was always treated as such by members of the family, is relevant. Comments Contradiction in evidence of relationship of witness of triffle nature, not material in a partition suit; Gowhari Das v. Santilata Singh, AIR 1999 Ori 61.

Grounds of opinion, when relevant (SECTION 51)

Whenever the opinion of any living person is relevant, the grounds on which such opinion is based are also relevant. Illustration An expert may give an account of experiments performed by him for the purpose of forming his opinion.

In civil cases character to prove conduct imputed, irrelevant (SECTION 52) 

In civil cases, the fact that the character of any person concerned is such as to render probable or improbable any conduct imputed to him, is irrelevant, except in so far as such character appears from facts otherwise relevant.

 In criminal cases, previous good character relevant (SECTION 53)

In criminal proceedings, the fact that the person accused is of a good character, is relevant.

 Previous bad character not relevant, except in reply (SECTION 54)

In criminal proceedings the fact that the accused person has a bad character is irrelevant, unless evidence has been given that he has a good character, in which case it becomes relevant.

 Explanation 1 —

This section does not apply to cases in which the bad character of any person is itself a fact in issue.

 Explanation 2 —

A previous conviction is relevant as evidence of bad character.

Character as affecting damages (SECTION 55)

In civil cases, the fact that the character of any person is such as to affect the amount of damages which he ought to receive, is relevant. Explanation—

In sections 52, 53, 54 and 55, the word “character” includes both reputation and disposition; but 1[except as provided in section 54], evidence may be given only of general reputation and general disposition, and not of particular acts by which reputation or disposition were shown.In sections 52, 53, 54 and 55, the word “character” includes both reputation and disposition; but 2[except as provided in section 54], evidence may be given only of general reputation and general disposition, and not of particular acts by which reputation or disposition were shown.”

Fact judicially noticeable need not be proved (SECTION 56)

No fact of which the Court will take judicial notice need to be proved.

Facts of which Court must take judicial notice (SECTION 57)

The Court shall take judicial notice of the following facts:—

(1)  All laws in force in the territory of India;

(2) All public Acts passed or hereafter to be passed by Parliament 2[of the United Kingdom], and all local and personal Acts directed by Parliament 2[of the United Kingdom] to be judicially noticed;

(3) Articles of War for 3[the Indian] Army, 4[Navy or Air Force]; 5[(4) The course of proceeding of Parliament of the United Kingdom, of the Constituent Assembly of India, of Parliament and of the legislatures established under any law for the time being in force in a Province or in the State;]

(5)  The accession and the sign manual of the Sovereign for the time being of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland;

(6)  All seals of which English Courts take judicial notice: the seals of all the 6[Courts in 7[India]], and all Courts out of 5[India] established by the authority of 8[the Central Government or the Crown Representative]: the seals of Courts of Admiralty and Maritime Jurisdiction and of Notaries Public, and all seals which any person is authorized to use by 9[the Constitution or an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom or an] Act or Regulation having the force of law in 7[India];

(7)  The accession to office, names, titles, functions, and signatures of the persons filling for the time being any public office in any State, if the fact of their appointment to such office is notified in 10[any Official Gazette];

(8) The existence, title and national flag of every State or Sovereign recognized by 11[the Government of India];

(9) The divisions of time, the geographical divisions of the world, and public festivals, fasts and holidays notified in the Official Gazette;

(10) The territories under the dominion of 11[the Government of India];

(11) The commencement, continuance, and termination of hostilities between 11[the Government of India] and any other State or body of persons;

(12) The names of the members and officers of the Court and of their deputies and subordinate officers and assistants, and also of all officers acting in execution of its process, and of all advocates, attorneys, proctors, vakils, pleaders and other persons authorized by law to appear or act before it;

(13) The rule of the road, 12[on land or at sea]. In all these cases, and also on all matters of public history, literature, science or art, the Court may resort for its aid to appropriate books or documents of reference. If the Court is called upon by any person to take judicial notice of any fact, it may refuse to do so, unless and until such person produces any such book or document as it may consider necessary to enable it to do so.

Facts admitted need not be proved (SECTION 58)

No fact need to be proved in any proceeding which the parties thereto or their agents agree to admit at the hearing, or which, before the hearing, they agree to admit by any writing under their hands, or which by any rule of pleading in force at the time they are deemed to have admitted by their pleadings: Provided that the Court may, in its discretion, require the facts admitted to be proved otherwise than by such admissions.

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